Ancient Scepticism

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University of California Press, 2009 - History - 248 pages
Scepticism, a philosophical tradition that casts doubt on our ability to gain knowledge of the world and suggests suspending judgment in the face of uncertainty, has been influential since its beginnings in ancient Greece. Harald Thorsrud provides an engaging, rigorous introduction to the central themes, arguments, and general concerns of ancient Scepticism, from its beginnings with Pyrrho of Elis (ca. 360 B.C. -ca. 270 B.C.) to the writings of Sextus Empiricus in the second century A.D. Thorsrud explores the differences among Sceptics and examines in particular the separation of the Scepticism of Pyrrho from its later form--Academic Scepticism--the result of its ideas being introduced into Plato's Academy in the third century B.C. Steering an even course through the many differences of scholarly opinion surrounding Scepticism, the book also provides a balanced appraisal of the philosophy's enduring significance by showing why it remains so interesting and how ancient interpretations differ from modern ones.

Copub: Acumen Publishing Limited
 

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User Review  - dhmontgomery - LibraryThing

A helpful introduction to the now largely forgotten philosophical strand of Ancient Skepticism, whose practitioners argued that knowledge as traditionally understood was impossible. Thorsrud lays out ... Read full review

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User Review  - Devil_llama - LibraryThing

The author traces the sceptical movement from Pyrhho to Sextus Empiricus, going into detail about what the various schools of thought were, and how the Sceptics responded to them. He spends most of ... Read full review

Contents

the origin of Pyrrhonian Scepticism
17
the origin of Academic Scepticism
36
Carneades
59
the end of the sceptical Academy
84
the Pyrrhonian revival
102
the consistency of Pyrrhonian
123
Pyrrhonian arguments
147
The ordinary life of a Pyrrhonist
173
Notes
201
Guide to further reading
215
References
231
Index of passages
239
Index
245
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About the author (2009)

Harald Thorsrud is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Agnes Scott College and the author of Cicero's Ethics.

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